We’ve done everything that was asked of us. We closed our clubs, we stayed home, we wore masks outside.
Anything to flatten the curve, to minimise overcrowding the emergency wards of hospitals and ambulances and to hold on until a pharmaceutical solution to the pandemic could be found.
Now we have several different vaccines. They are safe, they have been administered hundreds of millions of times, with statistically irrelevant side effects.
But at this critical moment our politicians are hiding from making a clear statement. They muddle through and hope that the problem will remain small until election day on September 26. None of them are willing to make a clear statement, for fear of losing a potential vote. We’ve seen other governments, such as in France, take strong stances on vaccinations. We need those in power in Germany to do it, too.
What is happening here is another dent in our democracy. We find ourselves living in US conditions. Politicians are staring at social media in an effort to avoid a shitstorm, while the loudest and angriest voices drown everyone else out. These voices are loud, but they are few, and they are slowly waning toward silence. After all, the 97 million vaccine doses administered in Germany alone are convincing – but vaccinations must continue quickly!
These angry anti-vaxxers are a preview of what will soon happen to climate, economic and social policy. Every moron will have an opinion, and the people we have given representative responsibility will not have the courage to make a decision. And so democracy is undermined. US social media companies now determine how we live.
We need leaders who truly represent the interests of the majority. A candidate who doesn’t want change until October, or doesn’t say anything at all at the moment, can’t be elected and given responsibility. Those who promise us a great environment, a better society or a new economy, but do nothing during this very real crisis, will not be willing or able to lead in the future either.
Vaccination: The only way to save the cultural and gastronomy scenes
We seek compulsory vaccination for restaurant and cultural visits, compulsory vaccination for public service employees and compulsory vaccination for everyone who wants to use public transportation. I know we are taking a strong stance. We can see an argument by which public transportation with a day-new test is also appropriate, but we need to make a strong statement to help the city’s discourse. No one else is making these demands, and it’s time to stop bullshitting around. It’s killing our cultural landscape.
Again, to be clear, a lot of the loudest voices want to commingle Impfpflicht with Impfzwang. We are not suggesting that people be forced to be vaccinated, but if they want to participate in restaurants, culture and broad public activities in general, then they cannot be allowed to endanger others, or our society at large. This is no different to how France, Italy or the major US states are handling it.
People are not allowed to walk through the city with a loaded gun, why do we allow unvaccinated people to threaten the lives of the weak or immunocompromised?
And yes, there are people who cannot be vaccinated, and they, too, must be protected by us vaccinated people.
Yoram Roth and Robert Rischke are the owners of Tip Berlin Media Group, Exberliner’s parent publisher.